Sunday, 17 January 2016

Wintery Weather and Rainbow Cake

Well it is the second Handmade Monday of 2016 and it has been a freezing few days here in Manchester. We had a bit of snow last night but most of it seems to have disappeared by this morning. Given the cold, dull January weather I thought I would share some of my colourful creations this week. I made these cute little rainbow cakes over the winter period. They are available as necklaces or key rings and I just loved making them. They are made from polymer clay - one of my great passions and favourite media. 

Rainbow Cake Keyrings 

The process of making these little cakes takes ages - from mixing all the colours and preparing the clay, to cutting and texturing the cakes to baking and decorating. These little cakes were pretty much a full day's work. 

The 'decorating' phase. 

Between us, we use a wide range of media to create our pieces. From polymer clay to resin, to beading and metal stamping......we both love learning new techniques and styles. One of the great things about crafting is there is always something new to learn. At the moment we are developing a new range of handstamped metal jewellery. Last week we featured our new name plate necklaces and this week we have added some simple handstamped initial necklaces. Simple, yet stylish.

Handstamped Initial Necklaces

Cute stamped 'S' necklace

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Happy New Year : 2016

Druzy Geode pendant

Well, it is 2016! Where did 2015 go? Time seems to be flying by......I can hardly believe that this is our 10th year. We did our first craft fair back in October 2006 at the Bankfield Hotel in Bingley, I cannot believe it will be ten years since we started, it certainly doesn't feel like 10 years. Looking back I feel embarrassed about our first designs and stall layouts. We have learned so much and changed so much in that time. When we first started we were creating a lot of beaded jewellery, first of all with semi-precious gemstones and then we added Swarovski crystals, Murano glass and went on from there. We are still very into our semi-precious gemstones but have found that we have had to constantly change and adapt our designs and ranges to keep our stall and Etsy shop looking fresh and interesting.

Druzy Necklaces 
We seem to have gone completely crazy over druzy the last year and I think it is here to stay for the foreseeable future in our shop. I particularly love the sparkle and 'rawness' of the stones and the fact that each one looks so different. I have always been into my sparkly stuff, in the early days I went crazy on Swarovski crystals and incorporated them into so many of my designs, so I suppose it was a natural progression to move onto druzy.

Druzy Bangles
I have said it before and I will say it again : I believe it is really important to constantly evolve and develop your ranges. We have found that a lot of our success has come from continually developing and adding to our skills and ranges. Both James and I love learning new techniques and styles and we spend a lot of time thinking about and planning new ranges and designs. Whether it is gemstones, polymer clay, resin or metal stamping we have spent the last 10 years learning and improving our skills. I personally love jewellery making and love experimenting with all the different fields and specialties that jewellery making offers. I don't think I could ever pick just one medium and stick to it. The latest skill we have been honing is metal stamping. We have been learning and practising over the last year and finally feel ready to introduce some of our creations to the shop. We launched our handstamped, personalised rings and bangles back in October and now have our name plate necklaces and personalised bracelets to add to our collection. Here are the first photos of our new pieces :

Name Plate Necklace

Handstamped Initial and Hammered Heart Bangle

We are hoping these will be a huge success. These are just the start of our metal stamping range and we will be creating lots more designs and styles over the coming weeks. I hope they will be popular and as always when launching a new idea, I feel really nervous.

Anyway, as always it seems that I haven't blogged for ages then pack wayyyyyy too much into one post. I will leave you with another druzy geode photo and pop over to see Lucy Blossom and the other crafters over at the first Handmade Monday of 2016.

Happy New Year!!!!!!
Poppy xxx